I haven't posted a journal here in almost three years, because I couldn't find the button to start a new entry.
So... hi, Slashdot. I used to be really active here, but now I mostly lurk and read. I've missed you.
If someone is willing to wallow in the mud, calling names, and making fun of someone just because they're different, well... you just can't be friends with that kind of person. What are they saying about you behind your back? What are they going to say about you if you rub them the wrong way?
Better to just cut ties, and walk on by. Bullies will never be good friends, and if you stand up to them, you're just going to get in a yelling match, until you're both hoarse.
It reminds me of the feminists who go beyond equality and turn into man-hating bigots themselves. Trying to solving a problem by becoming the problem is not going to fix anything at all.
I'm using OpenBSD, and as a result, my webbrowser options are somewhat limited. I love XFCE, so I'm using that, so naturally, I chose to use Midori to do my webbrowsing.
Does anyone have any clues as to what slashdot is supposed to be doing with all this CPU time?
âZ"[T]he truth is that privilege always lies with the majority. They're so used to being catered to that they see the lack of catering as an imbalance. They don't see anything wrong with having things set up to suit them, what's everyone's fuss all about? That's the way it should be, any everyone else should be used to not getting what they want." --David Gaider
This is regarding the seeming imbalance of options for Straight Male Gamers in Dragon Age 2, and a response to someone suggesting that there be a "No Homosexuality" menu option.
I want more people like BillDog to have the perspective, and voice of the right. People like RailGunner take the rhetoric up to 11, and it drowns out all the sanity of their arguments.
At least BillDog is willing to sit down discuss things rationally, understand your point of view... and then dismiss you as evil. (Kidding, slightly... ok, I'm joshing with a bit of fact, and a bit of fiction.)
I agree that we've pretty much both said a good amount for our piece each. I appreciate the civil discourse, and the insight you offer me into your frame of mind. I wouldn't call it alien, and I understand the desires and hopes that you wish to accomplish, just have different weights on what matters.
So, to sum up, "Thanks"
It's amazing how some people are so quick to talk about rationing and "death panels" that will kill people after the Government takes over healthcare, yet they fail to recognize the death panels that are already operating.
A woman operating under Medicaid--the insurance granted to people who are too poor to provide for their own healthcare--was dealing with liver failure and needed a transplant. After being forced to convert to a private healthcare plan as part of an overhaul that seems to be a large part of the anti-socialist agenda of taking every public service and turning it into a for-profit private industry, Alisa Wilson was continuously denied the transplant that was medically necessary to save her life.
About a week and a half ago, attorneys working on Wilsonâ(TM)s behalf said the insurance obstacles had been worked out. By then, however, her health was too shaky to risk going under the knife.
âoeIf they did it months ago, my daughter would be alive now,â her father said.
Would this poor woman still be alive today if we had a universal healthcare system? This isn't something that can truly be answered, because there are a hojillion factors that go into who gets a transplant and who does not. However, we could at least be sure that this woman's care would have been provided on a per-need basis, rather than a profit basis.
Life and Death choices are made all the time by doctors, and insurance providers. It's absolutely ridiculous to pretend like "death panels" will spontaneously pop into existence under universal healthcare... they already exist, and they're being run by profit mongering corporatists right now.
EVERY party in the United States has some socialist policies.
This is an undeniable fact.
Labeling the Democrats as "Socialist" however does a number of things:
a) it steps on the toes of the Socialist Party of the United States, and all the other socialist parties. But that's a third party, so who cares.
b) the socialist parties all agree that the Democrats aren't socialist enough.
c) the people who openly call themselves socialists don't consider Democrats socialists.
d) nobody but the people on the right seem to think that Democrats are socialists.
So, defining Democrats as socialists just muddies the waters and makes an already overloaded term even more overloaded, and makes it impossible to keep shit straight.
"But I can quote some obscure French guy who says socialism is blah, which I can shoehorn into applying to blah."
God damn it, you're fucking playing semantics games. The people who proudly wear the term "Socialist" don't think Democrats are socialist enough to be "Socialist". How more clearly can I put this? Ideas and plans, and programs, all of these can be socialist, or at least a part of socialism, and the whole god damn United States is already chock full of socialist programs, many of which the right openly support as well.
The United States is already partly a socialist country. We practice some socialism here. This is again, undeniable fact. Are Democrats pushing us towards more socialism rather than less? Well, yeah, they are. But to those of us standing squarely in the "fucking dissolve all corporations and hand over the reigns to the workers" Socialists are still going to bitch and moan every god damn time you call the Democrats socialists, because either you're making a statement that applies to every god damn politician in the country, or you're equating them to us... and we think they're nearly as bat-shit crazy right-wing as you are.
So, let's stop arguing about people being socialist or not, because the term applies as well to Republicans as to Democrats. Let's label people Socialists when they're part of a Socialist party, and we can get to discussing PROGRAMS and governmental actions that are either socialist or not.
Beyond all of which, WHY WOULD THE RIGHT FUCKING CARE if the Democrats are socialists or not? I only care that people call them socialists, because they're not a fucking Socialist party. You know what? Republicans are also democrats! Because you know, they advocate a form of democratic government. And Democrats are republicans, because you know, they advocate for a republican form of government.
These party terms are so fucking overloaded that they can't be used anymore. And what fucking politician in the United States is not a die hard democrat, republican and socialist? Of course, only some of them are Democrats, Republicans or Socialists. So, we confine our discussion to those party names, not to the generic ideas, because seriously... pudge? You're a fucking democrat, too.
From Captain Splendid, I was made aware that pudge made a response to my most recent journal entry, funny thing, even though the journal entry was posted yesterday, it already seems to be archived, meaning no one can post any new comments to it. Funny how someone with admin rights of a blog can fuck with the rules for his own purposes...
Anyways, in this newest JE, he presents an alternative definition to socialism from the one that I had presented, which was then used to craft the valid statement (under that definition): "Obama is a socialist."
First of all, get this straight, I don't think "socialist" is an epithet, so playing semantic games just to throw a label on someone, is kind of retarded. This is similar to Marxist Hacker 42 in his most recent journal labeling "tax cuts" as a "liberal" idea, and then using this to throw the label of "liberal" onto Reagan. I responded in his particular JE about how retarded this is, as every single politician in the US currently could thusly be cast as "liberal", thus negating any use of the term.
So, let's take a look at the definition of "socialism" that pudge provides from Bastait:
Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole -- with their common aim of legal plunder -- constitute socialism.
So, let's look here. Every single politician of the United States since its inception has vouched for one or another of these ideas. So thus, under the definition afforded by pudge, George Washington was a socialist. George W. Bush is a socialist. EVERYONE is a god-damned socialist.
So, thus, this raises the question... what use does this term hold? I mean, at least "human being" doesn't describe every animal on the planet. "Animal" excludes plants from life forms, and even "life forms" excludes inanimate objects from the universe of discourse. But when your universe of discourse is "politics", and your term applies to EVERY SINGLE ENTITY within that set... why not just label it the universal term: "politics"?
But no... we'd rather find a term that applies to every single entity in the universe of discourse, thus we can apply it to anyone we dislike... like say... an personally unpopular president. Bonus points, when the term is widely regarded as a epithet, because of a fear-mongering witch-hunt driving crackpot.
So, congratulations pudge! You've managed to construct a definition of "socialism" broadly enough that you can include Obama as a socialist... too bad you've made the hole so big that Bush II is now a socialist. (Remember all that work he did trying to fix public schools?)
Rather, let's actually take a look at what Bastait was likely trying to drive at here: Programs and ideas are socialist, sure, of course. But being for just a single socialist idea doesn't make you a socialist, otherwise the term loses all meaning. Nothing good comes of using a term that can be so broadly applied that it applies to anything and everything relevant to the discussion. So, we need a better definition of "socialist" rather than just "Is for at least one idea that is a part of socialism".
So, let's go back to the list, and look at them in detail:
* tariffs: nearly every politician supports this. In particular, the Constitution puts exclusive rights to tariffs with the Federal Government. The Founding Fathers were socialists?
* protection: broad category... does military defense apply? I presume protectionism: I'm against it. But conservatives are for
* benefits: broad category, what doesn't apply? I presume work benefits: I may be in a minority here, who thinks it's a good thing that jobs provide healthcare, vacation time, and sick leave. I know, I've got those CRAZY socialist ideas...
* subsidies: sometimes good, sometimes bad. Even conservatives have subsidies that they're behind
* encouragements: again, another super broad term. What doesn't apply? Aren't there encouragements for marriage? Focus on the Family and National Organization for Marriage are socialist organizations!?
* progressive taxation: yes, I hold the super crazy idea that people with more money should be paying more taxes. There is a minimum amount of money required to live, and for anyone living around or near that amount of money, every dollar matters more. You think Bill Gates would notice a $1,000 extra tax burden? Do you think Jane Doe working as single mom at a minimum wage job would notice?
* public schools: Show me a politician in the US who thinks we should ditch public schools entirely (and all public funds to education), and I will show you an unelectable politician.
* guaranteed jobs: maybe I'm crazy to think that if someone wants to work, that they should be able to have a job. I also don't think that the employer should hold as much power over employees as they do. Leaving a job means being without support until one finds a new job. So, you can't just quit a job that is harmful to you. And being forced to stay in a current job that is harmful, while looking for a new job, and until said new job has been found, is intolerably cruel. If one could be guaranteed a position at another company, or ANYWHERE that would support them after they leave a harmful job... well, then I think the world would be a better place, because employees would actually jump ship from a harmful job, and put the company out of business... the invisible hand of self interest cannot work for employees as long as there is not a surplus of jobs in their field.
* guaranteed profits: entirely against them. One needs a way to weed out bad companies.
* minimum wages: I may be crazy, but I think that people deserve a living wage. See above comments about guaranteed jobs. If I'm working for only 50 cents an hour, then my employer is abusing me. "So just leave!" says the free marketeer... yet, then I'm making 0 cents an hour. Awesome, you just killed my entire income.
* right to relief: Burton's Legal Thesaurus seems to point me to "cause of action". So... anyone in favor of being able to go to courts to receive fair compensation for injury and harm should be labeled a socialist? "Your Honor, the defendant asked me to borrow $1,000. I loaned him the money under the understanding that he would return that value, with interest of $100, in two years time. Here is the signed and notarized contract." The judge: "Excuse me plaintiff, but it seems you're a SOCIALIST... case dismissed."
* a right to the tools of labor: I'm sure the author had something specific in mind here, but I seriously have no clue what he's going on about...
* free credit: Perhaps he means credit without interest? Or credit granted to people who don't deserve it? I find the idea a poor one. I would not expect anyone to grant me a credit line (except the federal government for a student loan, because they cannot be discharged in bankruptcy without some serious hardship.) Anyone who does would have to realize that they're throwing away money... so, I suppose if they want to be idiots enough to hand me free money, I won't complain...
* and so on, and so on: finishing up the broad categories of socialism with the indeterminate phrase of "there's a ton more here, than I care to list, but since the above list covers everyone already, why the hell do I think it necessary to make the list seem longer?" *shrug*
So, this entire list is bogus in the first place. The author is just throwing every conceivable thing that he disagrees with and labeling it "socialism". What a wonderful word... taxes are now "legal plunder" so they are socialism. Even taxing people to pay for the common defense of the states is now socialism... YAY! Sure there are things that are not socialism: criminal offenses of the law, punishing criminals, the common defense of the states ITSELF... but how are you going to pay for any of this? That's right... through LEGAL PLUNDER. A government cannot do anything at all without LEGAL PLUNDER... that is, unless it's using ILLEGAL plunder, but then who would hold them accountable? You with your AR-15 rifle and about 5 magazines of ammo, against tanks and smart bombs, and worse? HAHAHAHhahahahaha... "second amendment resolutions" for the lose.
I'm going to make up a list of things that I'm against, and I'm going to label it... "bullshit". Everything that I disagree with is now "bullshit", and anyone who is for even one of those ideas is now an "asshole". Congratulations pudge, you're ab asshole... oh, and Captain Splendid, I love you man, and I think you're great, but you disagree with me on at least one topic, so you're an asshole as well. HOLY CRAP, my own mom is an asshole!!! This world is going to hell in a handbasket, because everyone disagrees with me about at least one thing, I mean, because everyone but me is an asshole. I must be the ONLY sane person left in the world, wtf?!?!?!!?
Sarcasm aside... defining things so broadly it refers effectively to everyone and then using it to apply it to a single person you're against belies the point that you're referring to EVERYONE anymore. Hey, pudge! You're a real human being... And you breathe oxygen. And I really can't believe that you eat food. It's just disgraceful.
A socialist purports social policies that directly attack the exploitation of the haves against the have nots. The Rich should have higher taxes, they have a higher moral obligation to provide to the social good, because they've benefited more from the social good. Employers should not have the power in a corporation, the EMPLOYEES should have all the power.
There will come a time, where running a corporation through any other means than a democratically elected republican management will be viewed in the same way that we view dictatorships... HARSHLY.
Obama does not stand for this idea, and is FOR THAT REASON not a socialist. It's a moderate, a centrist. That he's proposing support systems to protect HUMAN DIGNITY against tarnish is not a sign of socialism. Republicans agree that slavery is a tarnish against Human Dignity. That one must be paid for their work, and that humans cannot be owned.
It is a common exercise in Ethics classes to consider the situation of a starving child stealing a loaf of bread in order to stave off starvation. Is the child justified? Ethics finds this to be a grey area. How has our society decided to resolve this situation? If you are unable to afford food, then we will grant you public money to purchase food, so that you do not have to steal that food, even though it could be argued as justified under the legal doctrine of necessity.
Go on, I dare you. Argue the side that claims that people do not deserve by Human Dignity to be fed (not on filet mignon, but just fed). That they do not deserve by Human Dignity to have housing, safety, protection from fire, prevention of life-threatening medical conditions. All of these policies are implemented openly and "happily" all but unanimously by Americans.
Now, I want you to load of up a picture of the most pity-worthy starving child in Africa. I want you to ask yourself: "What does this person deserve to have, just because they are human?" Food? Somewhere to be protected from the elements? If they're coughing and sick, don't they deserve to be seen by a doctor? Who could argue against the natural human social behavior of empathy to provide for those in need?
Now, when you talk about denying healthcare to someone, just because they can't afford it... I want you to ask yourself... Who the fuck are you to deny humanity from another human being? What's next, stealing candy from a baby, because it didn't pay for it?
Why does it have to be so hard?
And finding a boyfriend? That, too.
WTF is finding anything important in life so freaking hard. I really hate that so much of my life has been handed to me on a silver platter, because I have no real sense of applying effort. Sometimes I have had such great luck, but luck is sporadic, and I'm in a giant dry spell right now.
I'm crazy intelligent, and I have had this independently recognized through various awards, but no one cares about how intelligent you are, because they only care about work experience. And right now, there's this wonderful question of "why haven't you worked in two years?" And it's like; honestly, I could answer that, but your HR department would pop an aneurysm over the answer.
I've managed to dig myself into a pretty crappy hole (more accurately, this hole kind of dug itself, I didn't really lift a finger at it) and I really don't know how to get out of it right now.
Have a "boyfriend" who is kind of an enabler of my laziness hasn't really helped either... I honestly think the guy would let me get away with murder...
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Bill Dog for being a reasonable, respectful debate partner.
I can deal with people calling me "evil" when they're not being belligerent about it.
Keep up the reasonable attitude!
I found a pointer to the actual complaint filed in the District Court of Arizona titled "Martin H. Escobar vs Jan Brewer et al."
A lot of arguments are made throughout much of the complaint about violations of various rights, however towards the end of the complaint is actually, what I perceive as being the most significant piece:
Count Six, "Federal Preemption & Unauthorized or Supervised Federal Immigration Conduct" allegation 58:
58. Defendants' actions against Plaintiff constitute a violation of 8 U.S.C. 1357, Subsection 287(g)(1) and (5) as the City of Tucson has no authorization or agreement with the United States to perform any immigration inquires of any persons present in the United States.
Hm, well, let's take a look at these laws shall we? 8 U.S.C. 1357:
(g) Performance of immigration officer functions by State officers and employees
(1) Notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, the Attorney General may enter into a written agreement with a State, or any political subdivision of a State, pursuant to which an officer or employee of the State or subdivision, who is determined by the Attorney General to be qualified to perform a function of an immigration officer in relation to the investigation, apprehension, or detention of aliens in the United States (including the transportation of such aliens across State lines to detention centers), may carry out such function at the expense of the State or political subdivision and to the extent consistent with State and local law.
(2) An agreement under this subsection shall require that an officer or employee of a State or political subdivision of a State performing a function under the agreement shall have knowledge of, and adhere to, Federal law relating to the function, and shall contain a written certification that the officers or employees performing the function under the agreement have received adequate training regarding the enforcement of relevant Federal immigration laws.
(3) In performing a function under this subsection, an officer or employee of a State or political subdivision of a State shall be subject to the direction and supervision of the Attorney General.
(4) In performing a function under this subsection, an officer or employee of a State or political subdivision of a State may use Federal property or facilities, as provided in a written agreement between the Attorney General and the State or subdivision.
(5) With respect to each officer or employee of a State or political subdivision who is authorized to perform a function under this subsection, the specific powers and duties that may be, or are required to be, exercised or performed by the individual, the duration of the authority of the individual, and the position of the agency of the Attorney General who is required to supervise and direct the individual, shall be set forth in a written agreement between the Attorney General and the State or political subdivision.
(6) The Attorney General may not accept a service under this subsection if the service will be used to displace any Federal employee.
(7) Except as provided in paragraph (8), an officer or employee of a State or political subdivision of a State performing functions under this subsection shall not be treated as a Federal employee for any purpose other than for purposes of chapter 81 of title 5 (relating to compensation for injury) and sections 2671 through 2680 of title 28 (relating to tort claims).
(8) An officer or employee of a State or political subdivision of a State acting under color of authority under this subsection, or any agreement entered into under this subsection, shall be considered to be acting under color of Federal authority for purposes of determining the liability, and immunity from suit, of the officer or employee in a civil action brought under Federal or State law.
(9) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require any State or political subdivision of a State to enter into an agreement with the Attorney General under this subsection.
(10) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require an agreement under this subsection in order for any officer or employee of a State or political subdivision of a State--
(A) to communicate with the Attorney General regarding the immigration status of any individual, including reporting knowledge that a particular alien is not lawfully present in the United States; or
(B) otherwise to cooperate with the Attorney General in the identification, apprehension, detention, or removal of aliens not lawfully present in the United States.
What a love piece of law this is... it's like it sets out the legal way that a state or local officer or employee may enforce the immigration laws of the United States. And it requires written federal consent.
I believe that I have stated before that my primary issue with this bill was that Arizona lacks the legal authority to enforce US Immigration Laws, and this pretty much explicitly states how they could get that authority. Yet, rather than follow legal channels, they've decided to just hop the border and do what they want to do.
Any one find some irony in this? That the people calling out for the Federal government to enforce the law... are calling for their state and local governments to break the law themselves? What happened to the importance of "Rule of Law" and "Do it right, or don't do it at all!"
Note: (10)(A) allows the officers to communicate with the Federal Attorney General if they find out someone is illegal, but by federal statutory law they do not have the authority to question someone's immigration status themselves.
If the AZ law held only that Police had to take due responsibility to validate the immigration status of individuals in custody before release (one of the provisions that it does provide) then things would be ok. You have already collected their information, and so you just run it by the AG, and they come back perhaps with a "nope, he's not documented, please detain him until we can take custody". VIOLA, IT'S FUCKING LEGAL.
The whole thing boils down to this. Even if Arizona had specific written authorization for every employee and officer of their state and local governments, each of those individuals would require them to have "knowledge of, and adhere to, Federal law relating to the function" and have written certification, that they have "received adequate training regarding the enforcement of relevant Federal immigration laws." and even then they would be "subject to the direction and supervision of the Attorney General."
While people are purporting that the AZ law mirrors US immigration law, the fact is that it attempts to establish a unilateral cooperation that requires bilateral agreement, and fails to establish the proper authority and supervision of state and local employees.
That's all I have to say about this... you can argue until you're blue in the face, but the law is the fucking law. Yes, it is absolute fact that the immigrants need to have their paperwork on them. Yes, it is absolute fact that immigrants can be questioned by lawfully authorized representatives of the Federal government. But No, it is absolute fact that SB 1070 does not establish the proper authority.
So, I just noticed that I had a relationship change. I expected it to be that pudge asshat foing me... which I wouldn't blame him, I foed him myself. But instead, to my surprise, it was Bill Dog, friending me. Now, I don't mean to be ungrateful, or upset in any way... but as I remember, Bill Dog is a strong conservative, while I'm a rabid liberal... and not just this watered down liberalist crap that passes for liberal here in the USA, but a full on democratic socialist.
So, I put an invitation to Bill Dog: if you wouldn't mind, would you be willing to explain why you made the choice to friend me?
Actually, let's do this as an open question. Anyone who is willing to explain why they friend/foed me, I invite your honest and open comments. I promise, I'll keep my mouth shut, and take my medicine as it is. After all, your justification is your honest opinion.